Playing and listening, the magic difference

How playing an instrument benefits your brain

– Anita Collins



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Between having a basic command and holding a conversation

We’ve just discovered a great blog by Jakub Marian, we’re adding him to our blogroll right away!
And we’d like to point your attention to this recent article:

“Some native English speakers’ attitude towards learning foreign languages can be summarized as “why should I learn a foreign language if pretty much everybody speaks English?” While it is true that English is among the most commonly learned second languages in the world, only a small percentage of the world population are able to speak it at a conversational level.”
read the article here !!!


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Heartbleed, explained

Can’t top that one. It’s genius.



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Just ever soooooo huge



if the moon were only one pixel

The artist and designer Josh Worth’s website features an eye-opening model of the solar system. Just scroll and be amazed. A click on the screenshot above takes you right there !



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Fine disconnection medicine

The Huffington Post had this article, we thought it a must-post on SchoolPal.

Please read the full article here. This is an excerpt.

HuffPost article on math teacher

Every Friday afternoon Chase’s teacher asks her students to take out a piece of paper and write down the names of four children with whom they’d like to sit the following week. The children know that these requests may or may not be honored. She also asks the students to nominate one student who they believe has been an exceptional classroom citizen that week. All ballots are privately submitted to her.

And every single Friday afternoon, after the students go home, Chase’s teacher takes out those slips of paper, places them in front of her and studies them. She looks for patterns.

Who is not getting requested by anyone else?

Who doesn’t even know who to request?

Who never gets noticed enough to be nominated?

Who had a million friends last week and none this week?

You see, Chase’s teacher is not looking for a new seating chart or “exceptional citizens.” Chase’s teacher is looking for lonely children. She’s looking for children who are struggling to connect with other children. She’s identifying the little ones who are falling through the cracks of the class’s social life. She is discovering whose gifts are going unnoticed by their peers. And she’s pinning down — right away — who’s being bullied and who is doing the bullying.

As a teacher, parent and lover of all children — I think that this is the most brilliant Love Ninja strategy I have ever encountered. It’s like taking an X-ray of a classroom to see beneath the surface of things and into the hearts of students. It is like mining for gold — the gold being those little ones who need a little help — who need adults to step in and TEACH them how to make friends, how to ask others to play, how to join a group or how to share their gifts with others. And it’s a bully deterrent because every teacher knows that bullying usually happens outside of her eyeshot — and that often kids being bullied are too intimidated to share. But as she said — the truth comes out on those safe, private, little sheets of paper.

As Chase’s teacher explained this simple, ingenious idea — I stared at her with my mouth hanging open. “How long have you been using this system?” I said. Ever since Columbine, she said. Every single Friday afternoon since Columbine.

Good Lord.

This brilliant woman watched Columbine knowing that ALL VIOLENCE BEGINS WITH DISCONNECTION. All outward violence begins as inner loneliness. She watched that tragedy KNOWING that children who aren’t being noticed will eventually resort to being noticed by any means necessary.

And so she decided to start fighting violence early and often, and with the world within her reach. What Chase’s teacher is doing when she sits in her empty classroom studying those lists written with shaky 11-year-old hands — is SAVING LIVES. I am convinced of it. She is saving lives.


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The intelligence of empathy

Living intelligently ?
Understand others for a start.



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Astonishing facts about the earth, 50 of them

“Mighty Mega” has a pretty cool infographic:
Link: 50 Unbelievable Facts About Earth


50 Unbelievable Facts About Earth

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